You don’t want to jump the gun too soon. When you’re using Facebook for PR purposes, there is a right time and there is a wrong time. A website that isn’t ready to handle the traffic that Facebook is known for bringing in could run the risk of potentially flopping; not only that, but Facebook is like a gateway when it comes to spammers and critics.
Step 1: Ask yourself, “Is my website ready for Facebook?”
Before you start directing your followers to Facebook, make sure that all of your ducks are in a row and that you’re ready for the next level of commitment.
Step 2: Is your website worth a “Like” to your visitors?
When I’m auditing a website, the first thing I do is examine their layout. Is it appealing? What are the color schemes? Where is there for me to interact? What is the point? These are all questions that I (sometimes subconsciously) ask myself. If your website isn’t bold enough to make an impact with the followers that you are already bringing in, perhaps you may want to establish a stronger foundation before you try to make Facebook a successful marketing sphere for your business.
Step 3: How am I going to show my visitors that I want to connect on Facebook?
The obvious answer is that you’re going to tell them. Underneath any new post, provide your followers with a link to your Facebook page; but don’t stop there. With the link, give them a call to action. This will be more successful when your followers know how important their “Like” is to you. Tell them, and then point them in the right direction. You’re still going to want more exposure. If you have the room, try to put a Facebook Like box widget towards the top left of your website. If you don’t have a left sidebar, then anywhere “above the fold” will do just fine.
Step 4: What are the small things that are going to motivate my visitors?
I mentioned a great deal of the small things in Step 2, but there are a few deeper levels that you’ll want to implement here. No matter what your business is, today’s readers want to see ‘more’. Journalists and web-developers have picked up on this. But you don’t have to be a sociologist to know that people today look at success by the photos and number of places that pop in a website. Take a look at USA Today’s website. Color and photography has taken hold of their online front and they are flourishing for it. Before your visitors are going to click those Facebook links, they are going to need some reassurance that your website is up-to-date and going to continuously meet their needs.
Step 5: If they give me a “Like” what am I going to give them in return?
After you are satisfied with all of the small details behind your website, it’s time to start engaging your visitors directly and spreading the word about your Facebook page. The fastest and most beneficial way to obtain Facebook Likes is by running a contest; consequently, this also requires the most effort. If you can find something, anything, to offer your visitors in return for a “Like”, you’re bound to see your web-traffic skyrocket. What could you possibly offer them? Perhaps you can offer them a free session of your services, or maybe a free guide or eBook? Whatever it is, spread the word about the contest, make a deadline, and keep the hype going. Whoever can get your Facebook page the most “Likes”, wins a prize.
Step 6: Are you building relationships on the website?
You’ve heard the sermon, I’m sure, “Always reply to comments.” For the most part, when you reply to a comment, they aren’t going to read your response, at least not immediately. The truth is, your replies are meant for future visitors more than they are for the initial visitor. When your visitors see that you never fail to interact, they won’t feel like they’re visiting a cold and empty website – they’ll feel welcomed. On that same note, if your visitors are using your “Contact” page to their advantage, try to respond every time and in a timely manner. And always be honest.
Step 7: Do you ask your visitors for help?
Feedback is important because it helps us grow. A business that never listened to feedback will not last. When it comes to professionalism, the golden rule is to be a servant. Your visitors are there for a reason, and they need to be catered to. With that being said, a floating feedback plugin would be most beneficial. This will give your visitors the chance to directly provide you with tips. Who knows, there may be a coding problem that you didn’t see and they could have just saved you from further embarrassment.
Step 8: Are you monitoring your traffic?
As it pertains to Step 7, accepting feedback is very similar to monitoring your traffic. Now that you’ve designed a beautiful website, taken charge of your Facebook opportunities, and given your visitors access to a direct “Like”, it’s time to monitor how the traffic is doing. Take a look behind-the-scenes of your website and Facebook page to determine who it is that is liking your stuff. What are the demographics? Figuring out this information will help you grow your business because it gives you a more specific look into who is enjoying what you’re doing.
Step 9: Are you networking with other businesses or website owners on Facebook?
Now that you’ve made it this far, let me tell you this: Step 9 is probably the most important when it comes to the long-term stature of your website. You’re off to a good start on Facebook now, but if you want that streak to last, you’re going to want to start networking. Get a hold of other website owners in your niche, establish a win-win scenario (probably mostly a promotional agreement), and start diverting each others traffic towards their intended destinations. You can’t make it on your own, trust me.
Step 10: Do you say “thank you”?
A “thank you” goes a long way. With each new like you get, try to directly thank that person; thesame thing with comments and feedback. A good idea could be to highlight top commentators in your newsletter. This will give them continued motivation, as well as add motivation to less interactive visitors.
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